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Here’s an Arbitration Provision I Like!

Second Life logo

I’m not a big fan of mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts: Although arbitration is likely to proceed more quickly than litigation (other than small-claims cases), it is not necessarily less expensive. However, I recently saw an arbitration clause that I like quite a bit.

Linden Research, Inc., developer of the Second Life multi-user online service, includes the following in its Terms of Service (emphasis added):

Our goal is to provide you with a neutral and cost-effective means of resolving the dispute quickly.

Thus, for any claim related to this Agreement or our Service, excluding claims for injunctive or other equitable relief, where the total amount sought is less than ten thousand U.S. Dollars ($10,000.00 USD), either we or you may elect at any point in or during a dispute or proceeding to resolve the claim through binding non-appearance-based arbitration. A party electing arbitration shall initiate it through an established alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) provider mutually agreed upon by the parties. The ADR provider and the parties must comply with the following rules: (a) the arbitration shall be conducted, at the option of the party seeking relief, by telephone, online, or based solely on written submissions; (b) the arbitration shall not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties; and (c) any judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction.

By allowing for arbitration to proceed without personal appearances, based on telephone, online or written submissions, these provisions make it highly likely arbitration will be quick and cost-effective – an outcome that anyone should welcome.

Related post: Which Protections Should be Included in Online Terms of Use?

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510 547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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